“We Need to Foster Dialogue and Build Trust”

How can decision-making processes ensure that communities’ diverse needs are addressed in flexible ways?

Marie was part of a grassroots organisation for more than fifteen years. She knows how change and progress can be fragile and slow. This is why she tries to keep connected and informed about the communities she represents and works closely with local organisations and citizens who she believes are actually the real experts. To do so, one of her most valuable tools is The Community Manifesto. It is a community-generated handbook co-created with citizens, which underpins what a thriving community means to local residents.

This compendium of community values, ambitions for change, and etiquette for constructive action attempt to amplify the identity of the local community. It highlights diverse needs and potential methods to address them in flexible and equitable ways. Marie uses it all the time to reflect on and evaluate her work and future local projects.

The Collective Community is continually adapting to an evolving diversity of needs and their manifesto’s are living documents. An open-source generative document can be accessed and added to online. It can also be found in various public spaces. Political representation slowly becomes reciprocal as actions, inputs and feedback emerge from representatives, grassroots, local businesses and citizens. This open-access document fosters dialogues and allows people to engage on their own at different times, places and ways. This addresses traditional barriers to participation.

A living community Manifesto co-created with localised communities across Glasgow.

Design Opportunities

  • Direct and Indirect Networks
  • Trust Through Vunerability

Artefact in Action

Who does this primarily exist to benefit?

This directly benefits grassroots and municipalities to understand what ‘thriving’ means to local communities but also to understand diverse needs and the best ways to address them with flexibility and different methods.

Aspects to consider and take forward?

The co-created, generative and open-source nature of the Manifesto means that we need to make sure support, care and attention are given equitably and not only to the loudest voices and those who are able to be involved. Participation outside a digital framework also needs to be enabled and supported by providing offline complementary opportunities to be involved in informal ways. This means we might need to define methods to measure and understand who needs the most and what should be a priority. This Manifesto should be used in pairs with other artefacts and methods.

Research Evidence